Nov 232011

Getting Into a Good College – What helps Besides Grades?

Note:  This is a partial transcript of the information contained in the video from VanderbiltUniversity about Applying for College – an Insiders Guide for Getting Into a Good College.

Remember, it’s more than just academic preparation. It is how am I vested into the community? How am I vested in my high school or junior high? What clubs, organizations or extra-curricular events that I participate in? Am I adding value? Am I making a difference? It’s not just a litany of “I’m in 20 clubs.” We would much prefer to see a student who has few clubs but they have vested themselves and have made true difference in their lives and in other people’s lives, whatever that maybe. As opposed to a bunch of clubs where the reality at the end of the day, you participated but there was really no true reflective change.

getting into a good collegeAnother would be, “Maybe I’m doing a little less in my high school but I am very involved in a particular medical or environmental cause.” So I mean with the different professional organizations or non-profits within my community. Those would be the same thing. It is participating and saying I’m passionate and I want to help make a difference, whatever that difference is. And again, we are not judging what the topic is. We’re judging: did you take hold and grabbed it and moved forward.

The issue here is that you took hold of something and made a difference and that you vested yourself. You were excited, you were passionate. Those are the things that we would be looking for, not just a type of student. Remember, our goal in building, whether you are looking at Vanderbilt or any school that’s highly selective elite school like Vanderbilt. What you’re looking at is, or what we’re looking at is building a community. If everybody was just involved in one activity, what a boring community we will be developing. It is the individual strength of each person coming – the sum of those make a great class.

The next part of this getting into a good college transcript is called “How important are extracurricular activities and sports when applying for college?”

That was about getting into a good college with other important factors than grades.